The New England Patriots aren’t done tinkering with their team. One day after workout out five players, with a focus on the defensive backs, the Patriots brought in six players, with a focus at the linebacker position, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
According to Reiss, “The Patriots had the following free agents in for workouts: LB Akeem Ayers, LB Nicholas Grigsby, QB Thad Lewis, TE Ryan O'Malley, WR Jeremy Ross and LB Antwione Williams.”
Let’s break down the names
EDGE Akeem Ayers
The Patriots acquired Ayers during the 2014 season en route to winning Super Bowl XLIX. He played both on the edge and at off-the-ball linebacker and would be a perfect addition to the Patriots defense. He is slightly redundant with Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, and Shea McClellin, but he knows the defense and was more-than serviceable in 2014.
LB Nicholas Grigsby
Grigby is an off-the-ball linebacker that signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016 and spent the season on their practice squad. The 6’1, 220 pound Pittsburgh graduate runs an impressive 4.51s 40 yard dash and 6.90s three cone. He has special teams upside.
QB Thad Lewis
New England needs a third string quarterback, but the 6’2, 220 pound Lewis would require an active roster position and cannot join the practice squad. Lewis went undrafted in 2010 out of Duke and has played for the Rams, Browns, Lions, Bills, Texans, Browns (again), Eagles, 49ers, and Ravens. That’s more than one team per season.
TE Ryan O’Malley
The 6’6, 260 pound O’Malley signed with the Raiders as an undrafted player out of the University of Pennsylvania (not to be confused with Penn State) in 2016. He joined the practice squad and spent this past summer with Oakland, too.
WR Jeremy Ross
Ross originally signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent after the 2011 NFL draft. He was released in final cut downs and has spent time with the Colts, Packers, Lions, Ravens, Raiders, Jets, and Cardinals. He was most productive in his two years with the Lions where he gained 413 yards from scrimmage and was active in their return game with 38 kick returns and 47 punt returns.
LB Antwione Williams
Williams is a 6’3, 240 former fifth round pick from Georgia Southern. The Lions released him after one season.